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Hallelujah, Hell Week is over

Hallelujah, Hell Week is over


Today at noon, Bucksbaum Rotunda will come alive with the sounds of a diverse group of student musicians and singers performing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

This year’s rendition of the festive carol marks the 10th anniversary of the original performance that Professor Jennifer Brown, Music, organized with her music history class.

“It was the fall of 2005, my first semester at Grinnell. I was teaching a music history class, and the last day of class we got to Handel oratorios and I thought, ‘Wow, it would be cool if we could get together a class performance of the “Hallelujah” chorus,’” Brown said. “But there were only 10 of us in the class, so I called in a couple of extra people to perform with us in the class and they said, ‘This is a really good idea, why don’t you move it outside of the class and make it a public thing.’”

Brown has worked to adapt Handel’s piece for the assorted musical talents offered by Grinnell students. This afternoon’s performance will feature both traditional instruments such as the violin and trumpet but is also plans to introduce less conventional players, such as the ukulele.

Brown said that the “Hallelujah” chorus has broad appeal among multiple demographics.

“It’s such an iconic piece that it’s well known amongst musicians but also outside the professional music community,” Brown said. “This music has permeated popular culture to such an extent.”

Ultimately, she said, the performance will offer students a chance to perform or enjoy the efforts of their peers during a stressful time in the semester.

“[It’s about] celebration, the last day of class,” Brown said. “What better way to let off some steam and some excitement about the relief of being nearly done?”

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